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Trump admininstration moves to expel some 57,000 Hondurans
Published in The Egyptian Gazette on 05 - 05 - 2018

NEW YORK/TEGUCIGALPA, May 5, 2018 (News Wires) - The Trump administration said it will end temporary protections for immigrants in the United States from Honduras on Jan. 5, 2020, leaving potentially 57,000 people vulnerable to deportation.
It is the latest in a series of decisions by President Donald Trump to shut down temporary protected status (TPS) granted to immigrants after natural disasters or violent conflicts that would prevent them from safely returning to their home countries.
The government of Honduras said that it "profoundly regrets the cancellation of the programme" and pledged free legal and consular support for Hondurans living in the United States.
Marlon Tabora, the Honduras ambassador to the United States, said the conditions did not exist in the Central American country to deal with the repatriation of tens of thousands of people.
"These families have lived in the United States for 20 years and re-integrating them into the country will not be easy if they decide to return," he said.
After El Salvador, Hondurans are the second largest nationality with TPS to lose their status, which was granted to the country in 1999 following the devastation of Hurricane Mitch.
The government said it had conducted a review and found "conditions in Honduras that resulted from the hurricane have notably improved." The 18-month timeline to end the program would allow "individuals with TPS to arrange for their departure or to seek an alternative lawful immigration," the Department of Homeland Security said in a statement.
The Boston-based Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice said later on Friday that it would amend a legal complaint filed in February to include the Hondurans affected. The original complaint challenged the Trump administration's decision to terminate a similar program protecting immigrants from Haiti and El Salvador.
In January, the Trump administration ended TPS classification for some 200,000 Salvadorans, who had been allowed to live and work in the United States since 2001. Their status will expire in 2019.
The administration also recently ended the program for Nepal.
TPS critics complain that repeated extensions in six- to 18-month increments of the status, sometimes for decades, has given beneficiaries de facto residency in the United States.
In November, then-acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke set a deadline of six months to make a decision about TPS for Honduras, which is one of the most violent countries in the Western Hemisphere and recently has been convulsed by protests following a contested presidential election. Duke is no longer in charge, replaced by Kirstjen Nielsen.
Most of the other countries that have come up for TPS review have had the status terminated, except for Syria, which is in the midst of a devastating war.


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